Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) eBook

Carl Sofus Lumholtz
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 450 pages of information about Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2).

Story of the Coyote

The Coyote asked permission from Tata Dios to come into the world, and Tara Dios asked him what he would do there.  The Coyote replied that he would steal the animals and the corn from the Tarahumares.  Then Tata Dios gave him permission to go and make a living in this way, because the Coyote did not know how to work.

The Mountain Lion, the Coyote, and the Grey Fox

The Coyote challenged the Mountain Lion to a contest, that they might see which of them had the better eyesight and was the smarter.  The Lion said, “Let us see who can first shoot an animal.”  Then he proposed that they should go to a water-hole, and to this the Coyote agreed; so they started out on the hunt.  The Lion climbed up on a tree, but the Coyote remained below on the ground, and paid no attention to what the Lion was doing.  A deer came, and the Lion struck it dead.  The Coyote saw this from where he was hunting, and by and by he found a dead mare.  When they met again the Lion said to the Coyote, “Well, how did you get on?” The Coyote replied:  “Very well; I killed a mare.”  But the mare had been dead so long that she was smelling.  Therefore the Lion said to the Coyote, “Don’t be a liar,” and he chased him off, and the Coyote was ashamed of himself.

The Coyote next met the Grey Fox, and told him to go and challenge the Lion.  The Grey Fox went to the Lion and said:  “How do you do, Brother Lion?  I hear you got the best of Brother Coyote.”  The Lion replied:  “No, Brother Grey Fox; the Coyote made a fool of himself.”  Then the Grey Fox said:  “Let us see whether you can get the best of me, and which of us can catch a rabbit first.”  So they went to the mountain to look for rabbits.  At sunrise the Lion took a position facing the north, and the Grey Fox faced south, and both of them watched for rabbits.  After spying for a while, the Lion saw one, but by that time the Grey Fox was asleep alongside of him.  So the Lion said to the rabbit:  “Pass right between us, and then go to the hole in the oak-tree on the rock, and act as if you wanted to go into the hole, but go away to one side.”  Then the Lion woke up the Grey Fox and said:  “Over there is a rabbit.  He went into a small hole into which I cannot follow him; but you are small, and you can catch him.”  The Grey Fox just saw the rabbit’s tail disappearing behind the rock, but the rabbit hid himself, and did not enter the hole, as the Lion had told him.  “All right,” said the Grey Fox, “I will go; but, as you saw the rabbit first, you have won the bet.”  But the Lion said:  “No; you go into the hole, and fetch the rabbit out and eat him.”  Then the Grey Fox entered the hole, and the Lion made a fire in front of it, and when the Grey Fox came out again he was burned, and his feet were sore from the fire.  That is why the Grey Fox always walks so lightly.  And he reproached the Lion, saying that he was very bad, and begged him to let him go and not to kill him.  He cried and went to hide himself in a cave, because he was afraid of the Lion.  Then the Humming-bird who lived in the cave stung him in the face with his bill and in the eyes, and he went away and never came back again.

Project Gutenberg
Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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